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03/18/2022

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Anon

Not exactly a request, but still of interest to this crowd: an alt-ac job that specifically calls for experience in graduate philosophy coursework. Figured I'd post it here.

Position: manuscript editor for Critical Inquiry

https://uchicago.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/External/job/Hyde-Park-Campus/Manuscript-Editor--Critical-Inquiry_JR15593

anon

If you formally accept a TT position that you're not crazy about, is there really anything wrong with keeping your options open and to continue applying to other jobs?

Like if I gave myself a deadline of May 1 to see if any of the other positions work out, is that unreasonable?

anonymous

With the deadline to accept graduate school offers being about a month away, can we get a thread going on deciding factors and questions to ask current grad students and faculty at programs we've been accepted into? What are some tips to get more of an idea of the climate and other subjective factors at a department during prospective visit days and one-on-one meetings?

Filippo Contesi

How does one use information about job offers, invitations and other, for lack of a better word, achievements that one declined but which would have been good additions to one’s CV or academic profile? Can/should they be mentioned in formal documents: e.g. CVs, cover letters?

grad student

How can those at top universities be competitive for teaching-focused jobs, especially at non-prestigious schools?

I'm at a top 5 PGR-ranked university and almost everyone ends up at a research-focused job (typically at R1s or prestigious SLACs). I'm told that I will seem like a flight risk for teaching-focused jobs and at non-prestigious schools. But I don't care about prestige and I think I enjoy teaching more than research. So, I like to be competitive for teaching-focused jobs, even at non-prestigious schools. Any advice would help.

Postdoc

How common, expected or advisable is it for someone writing a book review to share their review with the book's author before it's submitted?

Asst prof

I am an advanced assistant professor getting ready to start supervising both an MA student and a PhD student for the first time. I would love to hear advice about how to do this well.

the grass is greener on the other side

I am in my first year of a TT position and I am wondering how (or whether) I can or should transition from my current area of research to a new one. I still find my current AOS relatively interesting, but I don't feel passionate about it. I feel much more interested in doing research in another AOS that I have little background in, but it seems like a bad idea to transition before I have tenure (because publishing and letters of recommendation for tenure). I would love advice on how to gradually transition, especially from those who have done something similar, so that perhaps I can make the shift over time while still meeting my tenure requirements. I am already planning on doing the most obvious thing, which is to teach content related to my new area of interest. But maybe there are other things I could or should do?

UK Grad

Do academics, particularly those the UK, have a duty to tell undergraduates how important getting into a 'ranked' graduate programme is? After being on the market this year and reading about the various discussions on phil cocoon about the factors which influence success on the job market. Overwhelmingly the main deciding factor seems not, as I had previously thought, quality of publications, but where one did their PhD. Coming from the UK, I was really shocked by this. Of course I've always been aware of the Leiter rankings, but have never taken them all that seriously (rankings? really?). When applying to grad school I applied only to the two places in the UK which had academics I really wanted to work with, and those which would give me the most funding. These are considered excellent schools in the UK but are not top 'leiterific' programmes. Oxford, for example, did not have a big selection of people working in my AoS at the time. I had personal reasons to stay in the UK at the time, and applying to grad school in the US was time intensive (GRE) and expensive. I never really gave it a second thought. To the extent that I thought people might care about rankings, I thought quality of research could compensate for this -- as I still believe it should. Now, obviously, I wish I had known how important this would be. While I have now landed a v good postdoc, I worry about how this will affect me down the line. The assumption seems to be that the ranking bias is somehow justified on the assumption that every grad student applied to every grad programme, so where one ends up is sort of 'as good as they could get'. But this is, of course, not true for many people. Anyway, I know there is nothing I can do to change this now. My question is really, should UK academics do more to relay this information to potential undergrad applicants? It seems irresponsible not to.

Courtesy Curious

I'm curious about "courtesy appointments" and "affiliated faculty" positions. How do they come about? And what do they typically involve? Are there advantageous to them? Are there steps to take if you're interested in one?

bookreviews

On the topic of book reviews, I'm interested in any general advice regarding the process of writing them. Really interested in advice on any aspect -- e.g. do you read the book any differently, and if so, how? how do you choose which points to develop? what do the best book reviews do well, and what are some pitfalls or ways they could go poorly? These are just some starting points. Really any advice is helpful. This is my first time writing a book review. It's for a journal if that's relevant. Also curious how long people spend on writing them so I can get a sense of how much time to budget, though I know it'll vary a lot!

inexperienced teacher

Is there a thread or a place which recommends the best textbooks for introductory courses to the core areas: metaphysics, epistemology, etc.?---for very good students that have no background and want to learn the fundamentals. I am teaching such courses but my choice of readings has not been satisfactory. I am a faculty but have never taken undergrad courses in analytic philosophy. Thank you thank you!

Anon

Hi, is it possible to start a thread asking the reader what is the most important thing when we apply a job? Is it "publication", where we come from, or recommendations letter?

anon

"Demonstrated understanding of how racism and sexism have shaped the discipline of philosophy, and a pedagogy that reflects a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism."

This was stated in a job ad.

Now, I have seen the language of
"candidate must demonstrate a commitment to DEI. and that's pretty standard, but this seems very specific.

I am wondering if others think this is problematic.

Randall

There was recently some very enlightening back-and-forth in another thread ("Tenure track faculty getting TT jobs?") about the meanings of academic job titles in Scandinavia. For example, it was revealed that it is not unusual for an 'associate professorship' to be taken up by a postdoc. I think I and many readers would benefit a lot from a general explanation of these titles, whether their meanings vary across Scandinavia, and what kinds of applicants will and won't be competitive for them!

D

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the best way to formulate research proposals, especially for grant applications. In particular, I am undecided between these two options:

(a) in terms of the arguments that you intend to make. For example: "I will write a paper arguing that X."
(b) in terms of open research questions that you wish to explore. For example: "I will write a paper exploring X."

I would be glad to hear what people who have won grant applications or been on committees prefer or if they have any other suggestions.

Anon FTF

Starting this year, my institution is requiring all full-time faculty to attend commencement. Full regalia are required, but I have no idea what I need to wear. I didn't even attend my own graduation ceremony after finishing my Ph.D. Can anyone point me to a guide on academic regalia? Any tips on buying vs. renting, etc.?

anon

Let's say you have an offer on the table.

But you also just had a first round interview for another place.

If you're waiting to hear back after the first round from the second place, is it appropriate to reach out with this information to see if you can get a response sooner or would just imprudent or unwise?

Reasons against publishing in the same journal?

I'm curious as to whether there are any considerations against publishing in the same journal multiple times. If one works in a specialist area philosophy like I do, the natural choice is to go for the top specialist journal in your field, as the top generalist journals likely will not accept the submission. Is there any reason not to do so?

Gowned

FTF
If you are expected to go to the graduation ceremonies every year, then just buy the regalia - you will need a gown, a hood, and a cap. They are specifically designed for your university. Usually universities have their own in-house service (often an independent supplier/seller). So you can contact your alma mater. But there are general companies that also do this. I used Harcourt's in Toronto. https://harcourts.com/academic
Buy a quality garment. It makes a difference. The shoddy ones look frumpy. And you feel self-conscious in it. I was complimented on my gown repeatedly. Renting is expensive, and after 10 years you really have sunk a lot of money into it.

S

I would be interested in hearing thoughts and reactions to an experience that I think is typical, but sensitive.

Recently, a paper was published in a highly regarded journal. I think the paper is excellent. It argues for a thesis that I think is a constructive elaboration of a thesis that I defended a few years ago in a less regarded venue.

But I wasn't cited. This can happen, I'm sure. But what gives me some pause is the fact that their bibliography contains most, if not all, the same references that I have referred to in my own work on this topic. Some of the references could be considered obscure. So, I am left wondering how the paper has an excellent bibliography, but perhaps the author did not come across my work or find it relevant. The former possibility is fine. The latter possibility would make less sense to me because it involves the very same argumentative strategy that the author uses in their own paper (but mind you that I think the author does it better).

I'm trying to be mindful here about this experience. On the one hand, complaining about failing to be cited feels like complaining about not being retweeted or shared on social media. On the other, the experience seems to be giving me feelings of exclusion from the philosophy profession (especially as a nonwhite early career academic).

I am also not up to speed with citation ethics. We all know that plagiarism is bad. But sometimes people fail to cite crucial elements of their view that have an intellectual heritage in the works of others. I feel like the risks of trying to enforce a norm against such failures outweigh the benefits. But I also dislike the feeling of being made to feel subjectively irrelevant to a debate where my contribution was objectively relevant at the textual and argumentative level.

Thoughts? Opinions?

Thanks.

anon

If you had a first round interview, and you follow up to ask whether candidates had been notified about advancing to the second round and you're told:

"The search is still in process and you will be notified when it is complete," can that safely be read as HR speak for you did not advance?

seconds

anon
It can also mean that they have offered the job to someone, and are waiting for a reply. So you may still get the job - do not give up. My first TT job was like this. It was offered to another candidate ... they sat on the offer for a bit. And then they declined ... so I was offered the job.

Grad student

Dealing with “Too late” reviews from journal reviewers.
I have had multiple incidents of getting “too late” reviews. I foresee that this will keep occurring because the wait times at top journals can be extremely long and the reject rates are extremely high. I was wondering how does one deal with such cases and if there are any strategies with avoiding such scenarios. Sending to lower ranked journals with fast times isn’t an option for me because I’m at a top-5 programme and I face a two-body problem (and so need excellent publications to stand a good chance at solving my two-body problem).

1. The typical ‘you got scooped’.
I send out my paper from 1 journal, to the next. Some journals took incredibly long, like 7 mths, and even 1 yr to review (these were the first-round review times). Now, after 2.5 yrs later (the 5th journal I’m trying), I get a reject. The reviewer says that a similar idea has already published more than a year ago, and so my paper won’t contribute to the literature.
Should I give up on this paper?

2. The author changed their views.
Philosopher X argues for theory T1 and argues on various desiderata that T1 is superior to T2. Various philosophers respond by trying to show how T2 can also accommodate the desiderata. My paper goes further to show that T1 cannot accommodate the desiderata for the very reasons that X thinks that T2 cannot accommodate the desiderata. I send out my paper from 1 journal, to the next. 2 years later (at the 4th journal I’m trying), I get a reject. The reviewers say that if my paper were sent earlier it would be accepted without revisions. However, philosopher X has changed their views about a year ago. So, my criticisms of T1 are no longer relevant. The debate is no longer between T1 and T2.

presenter

When presenting a paper at a conference (e.g. APA), how much is it acceptable to deviate from the version of the paper that was reviewed and accepted at the conference?

grad student

Is it acceptable to simultaneously send out two papers which share the same general arguments but have vastly different presentations/styles (and even different conclusions)?

Example 1: Suppose there are multiple theories, A, B, C, D, and E, on an issue. You argue that a satisfactory theory should satisfy desiderata D1 and D2. You argue that theories A, B, and C fail to accomodate D1, theories D and E fail to accomodate D2. You argue that theory A with a restriction would accomodate both D1 and D2. Therefore, a restricted version of theory A is superior to all other views in the literature.
A reviewer proposes that you ignore B-E and just focus on A. You can instead argue that although theory A satisfies D2, theory A fails to accomodate the plausible desiderata D1, and this could be solved by adding in a restriction without compromising on D2.
Adopting the changes would result in a paper with a different conclusion (You will no longer be arguing for a view that is superior to all other views. You would be merely arguing that theory A needs a restriction). The presentation of the paper would also change substantially since it's focused on theory A rather than the broader literature. But the main general argument (that D1 is needed, and theory A with a restriction can accomodate D1 without compromising on D2) is the same. Would it be permissible to send out both the original version and the revised version to different journals given such differences?

Example 2: You have a standard paper, say 8k words long. Some reviewers recommend that you consider re-framing it as a reply paper to author X specifically, and make it a short reply-style paper (3k-4k). Doing so would change the presentation and style of the paper, omit a number of details (e.g. some objections and replies are left out), and cut out parts that connect to the broader literature so that you only focus on author X. But the shortern reply-style paper would still have the same general arguments. Would it be permissible to send out both the long version and short version to different journals given such differences?

anon

It seems to me that one of the issue that has repeatedly come in the the job market reporting thread is the tendency of search committees 'to ghost candidates'
I want to be clear I am specifically referring to candidates who actually got an interview.

I think this important to note because if you're merely an applicant who was never notified that you didn't get an interview, that strikes me as less problematic than the case of someone who:

a. Advanced to first round interviews

b. Was given a timeline during the interview to expect to hear something.

c. Was subsequently 'ghosted' by the committee

This strikes me as not only unprofessional but also just cruel.

Now, I suspect many search committee members will retort with:

a. HR policies constrain what we can actually communicate with candidates.

b. We actually can't communicate anything until an offer has been accepted because we might need to go back to the applicant pool.

I don't know how true either of these are but they still seem like hiding behind HR policies instead of just being open and honest with candidates in order to update them about where things stand.

Put it this way:

If you were someone who interviewed for a job and thought it went well only to find out via the job market reporting thread that the search had progressed to final interviews and you did not advance or maybe you find out via twitter or facebook or from someone you know in the profession.

I honestly have no idea what can be done about this but the rate with which it seems to happen is alarming and it seems to give 'the profession' a bad look.

Perhaps nothing generalizeable can actually be said about this because each case is unique to the circumstances of particular universities or particular HR policies but the reporting thread at least seems to indicate it is too common a practice.

I think attention needs to be brought to this issue because its serious, especially when people are trying to make decisions about their futures in this god awful job markwet

early career

Similar to a previous question. I wrote a paper that examined 3 issues and it was rejected by two journals (with years in between), with both sets of reviewers suggesting I focus on only one of the issues. I massively expanded the discussion of that issue so the paper focused only on that, is it acceptable to re-submit it to one of the journals that previously rejected it? It has a new title and is at least 2/3 of the paper is brand new material.

Derek

My university provides funding for research assistants. But, our philosophy department only has an undergraduate program. The university also encourages faculty to mentor undergraduates. Having an undergraduate research assistant would be a great way to mentor students. With all of that in mind: do you have any suggestions I how I might use an undergraduate research assistant well?

Grad Student

Do you have any advice for when one's ability to ask questions and talk philosophy outpaces one's ability to write? How to catch up on philosophical writing in that regard? Thank you!

junior author

I have an ongoing journal horror story and I could use some advice.

I submitted a paper to a journal in March 2021, almost 14 months ago. Around 5 months in I started contacting the journal about the paper's status once a month. The managing editor's replies were very uninformative each time, but after a while they said that the journal was in the process of looking for a new publisher and that everything was slowed down as a result.

Once a year had passed I decided to contact the chief editor of the journal. The journal has a triple blind review review process, so I sent an anonymized email. A week later I got an R&R verdict on the paper, with quite positive reviews. I also got an apologetic letter from the managing editor, which revealed some details about the process. Apparently, everything in the journal has to go through the managing editor. At one point, the subject editor handling the manuscript had a query for the chief editor regarding the paper. The query had to go through the managing editor, who decided not to pass it along for now. It sat there for three months, because the managing editor thought that the chief editor should only be bothered with stuff regarding the new publisher deal. It was passed along to the chief editor only once I reached out.

I submitted a revision a month ago, and the paper is still stuck at the "undergoing initial checking" stage, which usually takes a day or two. I contacted the managing editor again, who said, as they did many times before, that they're busy with this new publishing deal and my paper will move to the next stage very soon.

I'm afraid it will be months before the paper is even passed along to a subject editor and then to reviewers, and it might get new reviewers and who knows what will happen then. I'm not sure what to do. Should I contact the chief editor again? I don't want to bother them again but I don't know what else to do.

Grateful Philosopher

A paper I am working on has been rejected by a journal, despite two positive reviews. One reviewer gave me excellent, very helpful suggestions for improvements which I have now made in the revised version. If the paper ultimately gets accepted somewhere, I think this person deserves an acknowledgement and if they read the published version will see that I took up their suggestions. Will it look bad to thank an 'anonymous reviewer for Journal X' in a paper published in Journal Y? Maybe my concern is pure egoism and not wanting people to know it was previously rejected, but is there any etiquette on this?

Grad student

Does anyone have any tips about preparing to teach historical courses?

I'm a grad student working pretty much exclusively on contemporary issues, but I want to be able to teach historical classes at the undergraduate level. Doing that well seems to involve not only being familiar with the historical texts, but also important secondary literature. So if you want to teach a class on Hume, for example, you would want to know the texts from Hume you're going to teach, but also some of the major interpretive views that are well-respected and could help guide you and your students.

Does anyone have any tips for doing this kind of preparation (i.e., getting a solid, but not research savvy grasp on a historical figure and some of the major secondary literature on their work) in a time-efficient manner?

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